Well, not unless you're a turkey!
When family and friends gather there is always plenty of rich conversation, and plenty of rich food. Temptations abound, and gobbling up a few of them won't thwart your weight loss efforts. But if you don't have a plan to handle the days leading up to the gatherings, and the leftovers that follow, you could be in trouble.
When cooking or baking ahead of time, be sure not to sample your good work too frequently. A few licks, nibbles and tastes here and there can quickly add up to lots of calories.
If people are gathering in your home, don't buy food that will be tempting to you until just before the event. Or find a "safe" place to store it. And be sure to offer a nicely arranged hors d'oeuvres tray of cut vegetables and fruits, a temptation you CAN give in to!
When the meal is on the table, choose your food wisely. Take larger portions of the lower calorie foods such as the roasted turkey and steamed vegetables, while taking only sample size servings of the higher calorie foods such as the marshmallow baked yams and mashed potatoes with gravy.
If there are plenty of desserts to choose from -- and aren't there always -- find one you love and enjoy a small serving. You can also cut back on calories by avoiding piecrust, and ice cream on cake and pie.
Leftovers are great; just send them all home with your friends and relatives. Just kidding, but be sure to package what you keep in single size servings, and freeze what you don't plan to eat in the next day or two.
The holidays are a wonderful time to enjoy family, friends, and food. And you can enjoy it all with just a little thought and planning to ensure that you don't get swept up by the moment, and end up burdened with regret. It's a time to celebrate.
Megan Porter, RD